Adnan, 44 years old, from Duhok, Iraq

“I had a tanbour [Kurdish guitar] that was much better than this one, with a better quality of sound, but it fell into the sea during the crossing,” says Adnan.


Nevertheless, the professional musician and music teacher produces beautiful melodies, putting on impromptu concerts in the camp and giving lessons to anyone who wishes to learn.

“I love people,” he says. “When I teach someone and they learn quickly, it makes me very happy.”

After three decades playing in orchestras throughout Iraq, Adnan fled the invasion of ISIS in the northern part of the country last year. Unphased by the high unemployment and poor infrastructure in Greece, he requested and received asylum here and will soon be moving to a nearby town to rent a house from a Greek friend.

“I said, ‘The Greek people have good hearts. I will stay here.’”

Photo & Story: Allison Voigts

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